A view of the future as the now: Hungarian sludge worker.
(Illustration found here).
A dam holding back acres of toxic red sludge from a metals plant in Ajka, located 100 miles southwest of Budapest, Hungary, broke on Monday and swept across miles and miles of countryside, killing at least six people and painting everything a nasty, lurid red color.
As of early Thursday, the sludge had reached the Mosoni-Danube, a southern branch of the Danube, a major European river system.
Another humongous man-made disaster could be worse: The EU said it feared the toxic flood could turn into an ecological disaster for several countries and urged the Hungarian authorities to focus all efforts on keeping the sludge away from the Danube.
The incident sounds so familiar — what is it?
Ah, yes: Last year, one billion gallons of toxic coal ash slopped from Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant, a spill which covered 300 acres, destroyed homes, poisoned rivers and contaminated coves and residential drinking waters.
A major new study identifies 39 additional coal-ash dump sites in 21 US states — along with the 71 already known — that are contaminating drinking water or surface water with arsenic and other heavy metals.
Welcome to the horror of technology and civilization.
And get ready for more bad shit.
One of the most-dire views of the extreme-near future — a study by the London-based research organization, Institute for Policy Research & Development (IPRD): A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It .
The study predicts the “terminal depletion’ of the world’s traditional mineral energy reserves oil, gas, coal, and uranium within the first quarter of the 21st century, and warns of “catastrophic convergence’ between energy, food and water shortages due to abrupt global warming as early as 2018.
Developed economies could consequently experience a “collapse’ in public services, while large states such as the US, Russia and China would struggle to maintain territorial integrity, potentially becoming embroiled in geopolitical conflict for land and resources.
And sludge becomes a way of water life.